Glastonbury Festival 27th – 29th June 2014
This year’s Glastonbury festival had a mixed and varied line-up which resulted in quite a bit of discussion around the Pyramid stage headliners who were Arcade Fire (were they big enough to headline?), Metallica (should a metal band headline Glasto?) and Kasabian (were they ready?) after negotiations with Prince fell apart, and Fleetwood Mac were unable to confirm because John McVie wasn’t well. In the event the largest crowd of the weekend was for a little country girl from Tennessee, Dolly Parton, who got everyone singing along during the Sunday afternoon legends slot.
We arrived at Glastonbury late on Wednesday afternoon, managing to find a spot for our tent, on a wonderful hot sunny Summer evening. Thursday was spent exploring the site and also sheltering from the first of many downpours. The weather was quite mixed this year with rain on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday was completely dry and hot. Friday’s rain was the worst with torrential downpours, thunder and lightning, causing the music to be halted for a short period. The rain resulted in the inevitable Glastonbury mud, which wasn’t as bad as it might have been; when the rain passed the sun quickly came out and some very hot spells quickly dried up the ground. Because of the weather, and also because we are getting older, we didn’t venture far from the Pyramid stage this year.
The festival officially opened on Friday; we made a point of watching Lilly Allen (who was good fun) and Arcade Fire and also listened to Elbow (lots of singalong), De La Soul and Rodrigo Y Gabriella. I can’t pretend to know much of Arcade Fire’s music, but found their set quite enjoyable.
On Saturday we caught Lana Del Rey (excellent and much darker and rockier than I had expected), Jack White (very 60s and Zep/Cream-like), Robert Plant and Metallica. Robert Plant’s set came after a massive downpour but I had promised I would make sure I saw him so I made my way right down to the front of the stage (very muddy) for his set. This is the first time I have seen Plant’s latest band the Sensational Space Shifters and must say I was impressed by them. The set was a mix of Zep classics and some new songs and Plant was on fine form, singing well, and reminiscing about playing the Bath festival in 1969. The Zeppelin songs have been reworked a little, but Plant’s vocal delivery remains pretty true to the original. A great set and the highlight of the weekend for me. Robert Plant Setlist: Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You; Tin Pan Valley; Black Dog; Rainbow; Going to California; The Enchanter; Little Maggie; What Is and What Should Never Be; Fixin’ to Die; Whole Lotta Love / Who Do You Love. Encore: Rock and Roll.
Metallica’s set was preceded by a quite weird and funny video which started with a clip from a Clint Eastwood western and then moved to a fox hunting scene, ending in Metallica dressed as bears and shooting the huntsmen. Rolling Stone magazine explained: “Before Metallica took the stage, they poked fun at the Britons who protested their appearance over frontman James Hetfield’s support of hunting with a video titled Glastallica directed by Glastonbury documentarian Julian Temple. The band kicked things off by running their usual intro clip of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, but switched things to focus on a fox hunt. As the video shows wealthy statesmen readying themselves for a big hunt, a voice calls out, “What does the fox say?” and chaos begins, with rifle-wielding bears, played by the band itself, exacting their revenge on the hunters.”
Metallica have been waiting a long time to play Glastonbury, and it was clear they were delighted to be playing. Their set was truly excellent, pulling out all the stops for a crowd who were largely unfamiliar with their music and mostly not metal fans. It worked, with a good mix of rock and ballads (“Nothing Else Matters” in particular resulting in large cheers and lots of singing) and the Glastonbury crowd gave them a great reception, largely vindicating the controversial booking.
Metallica setlist: Glastallica (Bear Hunting Parody video); Creeping Death; For Whom the Bell Tolls; Wherever I May Roam; Sad but True; Fade to Black; Cyanide; The Unforgiven; The Memory Remains; One; Master of Puppets; Nothing Else Matters; Enter Sandman. Encore: Whiskey in the Jar; Seek and Destroy.
The highlight of the Sunday, and of the entire weekend was Dolly Parton. The Pyramid stage was completely rammed for her appearance which hit the perfect note. Dolly handled the massive crowd (estimated at 90,000 – 100,000 of the 180,000 at the festival) as she would a crowd at one of her own arena concerts, introducing each song with a little story about its background and herself. The crowd loved it. Glastonbury works best with artists who have a large back catalogue of songs that everyone knows (e.g. Stevie Wonder, The Stones) and it certainly worked for Dolly Parton.
Dolly Parton setlist: Baby I’m Burnin’ / Girl on Fire; Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That; Jolene; Blue Smoke; Coat of Many Colors; Rocky Top; Mud Song (song written especially for Glastonbury); Banks of the Ohio; Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You / But You Know I Love You / Real Love / Think About Love; Here You Come Again; Two Doors Down; Islands in the Stream; 9 to 5; Lay Your Hands on Me (with guest Richie Sambora); I Will Always Love You.
We left shortly after Dolly Parton’s set to avoid the traffic leaving the site, having overall enjoyed the festival. Final views: a good Glastonbury, but my no means classic, weather mixed but not terrible, line-up lacked any really massive acts but strong and varied, the demographic seems to be shifting; I noticed far fewer older people and at several points felt I was probably one of the oldest people there (a feeling which I haven’t experienced there before).
Archive for the ‘Arcade Fire’ Category
Posted by vintagerock in Arcade Fire, De La Soul, Dolly Parton, Elbow, Glastonbury, Jack White, Lana Del Rey, Lilly Allen, Metallica, Robert Plant, Rodrigo y Gabriela. Comments Off on Glastonbury Festival 27th – 29th June 2014
Glastonbury Festival 27th – 29th June 2014